In the Orange Beach Elementary School auditorium full of students, school faculty, Baldwin County school administrators, city officials, police and fire personnel on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall commended everyone in attendance for helping Orange Beach Elementary achieve the 2018 Alabama Safe Schools Initiative Award of Excellence.
Orange Beach Elementary has earned the award every year since the Alabama Attorney General’s Office reinstated the program in 2013, except 2017.
“We’re here to acknowledge how this school is one of the best of the best in the state as it relates to school safety,” Marshall said after being introduced by OBES Principal Ryan Moss.
Orange Beach Elementary is among only 10 schools in the state that earned the recognition.
“Every year we accept applications from schools all over the state,” Marshall said. “This year we had the highest number of schools that sought this award. Your (safety) plan was judged by a panel of experts in the state, from law enforcement, from public safety, from school administration, from those who understand what it means to keep schools and young people safe. And they decided that this place is one of the best in the state. Part of the reason why is because you have one of the most comprehensive plans around.”
The Orange Beach City Council’s investment in security at Orange Beach Elementary School began after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December of 2012. Since then the city has funded panic buttons to all school personnel, a full-time officer dedicated to the school, improvements to the camera surveillance system, and other upgraded facility safety features.
“The importance of school security can never be understated,” Mayor Tony Kennon said. “Our children will be safe in Orange Beach. All parents and anyone involved with our schools can sleep soundly at night knowing the students will be safe. It’s an honor to have Attorney General Marshall back in town for this recognition.”
Mayor Kennon said the city continues to support school security and that investment in student safety will be made at the new Orange Beach High School / Middle School as well.